SingPass: Foreigners’ Gateway To Setting Up A Company In Singapore
The Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority of Singapore (ACRA), as the primary body enforcing appropriate laws on setting up business in Singapore, requires foreigners to have an EntrePass prior to setting up a company in the country.
An EntrePass, issued by the Ministry of Manpower, is given to foreigners who will act as hands-on and active overseers of the planned company. In turn, an EntrePass is a foreigner’s key to the SingPass, a password issued by the government allowing EntrePass holders access to the various online services of the Singapore government.
The SingPass, which stands for Singapore Personal Access, is an alphanumeric password 8 to 24 characters long. This is a common password each qualified individual can use in all government online services, including those from ACRA, the Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore, GeBIZ, and the Central Provident Fund Board. Singapore also provides for a variety of other e-services for its SingPass holders in its eCitizen online portal available at www.ecitizen.gov.sg.
Singapore citizens, Permanent Residents (PRs), S-Pass holders, Dependant Pass holders, and select work permit holders can also avail of the SingPass.
There are two ways to apply for the SingPass: the online application and the counter application. When applying at counter locations (which are spread over the Central, East, West, and North), applicants must not forget their documentary requirements, without which their requests will not be entertained. EntrePass holders, in particular, are required to bring either a Long Term Pass card or a valid pass from the Ministry of Manpower along with their passport.
Likewise, online applications may be lodged at the SingPass website (www.singpass.gov.sg), and approved SingPass applicants will receive theirs via mail within four working days (if sent to a local address).
Approved applicants may also obtain their SingPass online prior to receiving the mailed SingPass by registering their mobile phone on the SingPass website, answer security questions, and can then access and reset their password anytime.